The Lunatic

A Poem By Hannah D. // 3/25/2014

Who said a madman is a man who has lost everything
But his reason? Chesterton, I think, writing
In one of his theological works; anyway this portrays
My last patient so deftly that I can only say
It was a most prophetic vision. This man, I swear,
Was a loquacious creature, making it a habit to declare
The most inane ramblings. “Does this,” he once asked,
“Really look like a lamp-post?” And I thought it my task
To persuade him it really was; nothing would deter him.
“It appears, in my mind, like tangerines stacked ad infinitum,
And shaped to appear like this oversized mosquito.”
This being one of our first sessions, I raised an eyebrow
And asked him (thinking, ‘What the devil . . . ‘) made the lamp
Anything like a mosquito. “Oh,” he replied, grinning like a tramp,
“Mosquitoes always look like this. At least to me
They do.” At which he turned over hurriedly
And rose up off the couch, on his head. “Really, sir,”
I asked in forced nonchalance, “Wouldn’t you concur
That lying down would be more comfortable?”
Upon which he sprung up, in an act most portable,
And wide-eyed, begged to know how I had guessed
That such a position would feel the best
To his bones. I tried, discomforted, to explain,
Speaking to him as a child, that doctors can ascertain
Such things. His wild retort (that I found
Impertinent, as he spoke unreasonably loud)
Was that I couldn’t really predict that his nerves
Would respond less forcibly to the atoms in the curves
In the chair. My answer led him to speak
Of science, and I heard that in some freak
Of intellectual legerdemain, he could certainly prove
That science is nothing but a man’s personal truth,
Found in his own experience. The more we spoke
Together, the more he made sense. Common sense!
What a notion! I’ve now the terror of suspense
That such a standard doesn’t exist. After I gave
Up all hope with this unevolved knave,
I couldn’t help but think that in this universe,
Who is sane? And who is mad? – I have traversed
Many lands, seen many faces, learned many a spiritual clue,
But I’ve yet to decide what is good, and what is true.
I’m no doctor now, having lost all professional
Tact, clear thinking – and here’s my confessional:
One day in this world of time and chance we call reality,
I met a man brutally skeptical, and lost all my sanity.

Comments

Wow

How do you do this, Hannah?? I love the words you use.

The last line is the best :)
How did you come up with this?

Maddi | Tue, 04/01/2014

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

Thank you Maddi! I've had

Thank you Maddi! I've had this idea for a while, thinking of a short story, but I've never been much good in fiction so I put it in this form.

Hannah D. | Wed, 04/02/2014

"Reason itself is a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all." - G. K. Chesterton